….and it is plain to see why the Glorious Workers Revolution ain’t exactly around the corner:
- They endorsed Parker Griffith, the Democratic nominee for Governor. This would be the same Parker Griffith that scored no better than a 48 percent on AFL-CIO scorecards during the one term he was in Congress, with his highest rating being the 50 percent rating he received from the Machinists in the first year of his term. When he switched to his natural home in the Republican Party during his only term in Congress, the Alabama AFL-CIO asked for their money back. I am guessing that was followed by a text that said, “JK LOL”.
- They endorsed John Merrill, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State. You know, the state representative that sponsored a bill making it a crime for workers doing voter registration drives to turn in filled out registration forms. But then you look at his Democratic opponent….well, I guess you cannot do that, since Lula Albert-Kaigler does not have a web presence of any kind. This might be one of those moments where a no endorsement should have won out.
- They endorsed Joe Hubbard, the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. That would be cool, I guess, had the candidate not sent out press releases touting his “bucking” of the “teachers lobby” in voting to give millions of tax dollars earmarked for education to Goodyear. With friends like these….
- They endorsed state legislators, which might be beneficial in most places. In Alabama, where the only remotely pro-labor bill that has been passed in the last five years removed the $2 fee on filing annual reports, these endorsements are much less salient (save for Darrio Melton and Chris England, who have worked hard on a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour). And we cannot forget about U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), who has sponsored no pro-labor legislation in Congress. Her only statement on labor issues was in 2010….before she was elected to Congress.
The Alabama AFL-CIO gives us just one more example of the urgency that is necessary in building a labor culture in the South. When working-class organizations lend their support to candidates and elected officials, it has got to come as the result of a promise to introduce policies that would benefit working people, be it minimum wage increases, repeal of right-to-work, or any other pro-labor proposal floating around.
It is not enough to have a seat at the table; you have to make sure that you are gonna get served a fair share of the food as well. Alabama workers are tired of going to bed hungry, and the Alabama AFL-CIO should adjust its strategy accordingly.